“We’re basically at zero vacancy, says O.J. Gorringe. “As soon as we have something empty, it’s gone before the month is out. I’m pretty sure everyone is the same.” Ah, as the saying goes, it can be hell being popular. And Campbell River is popular. So much so, there is a new trend in showing rental properties. One imported from the ‘big’ cities.
“We have open houses now,” says Ann. “We didn’t use to. The town was too small. But now we have open houses just like the big cities and we get 20-40 people. This has just started happening this year.”
When it is noted that Islander Pizza in Courtenay had a note on its doors denoting reduced hours due to inability to hire employees, Ann opines, again evoking the big city imported issue: “Yes. It’s doing the same thing here as in the big cities. You can’t work here if you can’t find accommodation.”
“Landlords here are same as in the cities,” she continues. “The cost of everything else is going up and they feel the rents should go up too. We try hard to make things work for both the tenant and the owner. Simply because, in the long run, you’re going to keep good tenants that way.”
“The Sisters” note also that renters/tenants are much more sophisticated than they used to be. They want good, updated appliances, and ALL of them, including dishwashers.
O.J has reasons for optimism. “I can’t see the problem going back as bad as it was several years ago. Things seemed stagnant at that time and a lot of negativity. I don’t see that now. There are new businesses here now and new businesses is new life to the community. We have a growing town and a fabulous Chamber of Commerce and a forward looking council and government. It’s a moving town and I think it will keep the momentum.”